Oahu - Money & Costs
Money & Costs in OahuCurrency: US dollar ($)
Whether you handcuff dollar bills to your wallet or use them to wallpaper your hotel suite will depend on how much you have left after graciously donating a sizeable amount to a grateful airline company - that's assuming your arrival in Honolulu isn't a free or minimal-cost stopover within a longer international flight. Visitors on a very tight budget can get by on US$30 or less per day if they stay in hostels, chow down in low-cost eateries, eschew a car for the ultra-cheap public buses, and stick to free attractions (which applies to many of the sights on Oahu, including nearly all the beaches). To stay in top-end hotels while gorging some of the best food and cruising around in a rental car, put aside US$200 or more per day.
Oahu's main towns are infested with banks, so getting cash over the counter or through an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) is no problem. But there's really no reason to carry around wads of cash, particularly if you'll be spending a lot of time at the beach. It's just as easy to flash a credit card - all major brands are accepted, plus some car-rental agencies won't hand over their keys without seeing one. You might also stock up on travelers checks made out in US dollars, which will be readily accepted in hotels, restaurants and most shops.
As you'd expect in the USA, tipping is expected. Waiters will be pained to see anything less than 15%, while 10% is generally enough to persuade taxi drivers to let you out of their cab. Bellhops usually get US$1 per bag. The prices of most goods sold on Oahu are fixed, but haggling does happen at the larger markets.